The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Barnaby's gRudge: Make America Hate Again.

Killer Klown Kommissariat

The explosive force of a radical mob is depicted in Dickens' Barnaby Rudge, as he, in one of his few historical novels, shows little sympathy for inchoate violence. In the aristocratic person of Lord George Gordon we have a charlatan who, using the emotions stirred up by religious bigotry, ignites the flames under a cauldron containing a seething brew of animosity, class hatred, xenophobia, and anti-papism.

The Gordon riots of 1780 were a Protestant uprising, and Dickens illustrates the irrationality of the mob, their willingness to have their fury unleashed against whomsoever their leaders deign deserving of it, no matter how innocent they may be, and the eventual punishment of the participants, whereas the instigators of the violence, Lord Gordon and his slimy accomplices, remain unscathed.

The contrast between the smooth-talking, conciliatory Obama and the newly enthroned thuggishness of The Thump could not be more severe, the outcome he plans less transparent. There is no claim to the compassionate conservatism of his Republican predecessor, but only a promise to Make America Hate again, and to enshrine that intolerant, hooliganism in the seat of power. This isn't reactionary, as some have called it, because there has been no previous president that has flouted the rule of law in this manner. Like Duterte, the other famous unabashed basher currently astride the world stage, Thump flouts the very law that makes him the President in the first place, but, unlike Duterte, he's the leader of the world's soulless SuperPower, and an Empire cannot function across the boundaries of sovereign states without some simulacrum of standardization, which is what the rule of Law provides, no matter how hypocritically it may be wielded against the powerless while their oppressors sit on our collective faces farting and sneering at our resultant discomfiture.

Democracy and Full Spectrum Domination are not, after all, compatible philosophies.

It took the Bash Administration a full nine months and a city with its tallest towers lying in smoking ruins and a bombed out Pentagon to show the real measure of Bush's swaggering uselessness, but if there's one thing we can be sure of, it's unlikely it'll take The Thump anywhere near that amount of time to cause some part of the world or another to be reduced to a smoldering heap.

Using the specter of a resurrected Ghost of America Past as his rallying cry, Thump endeavors:

"To surround everything, however monstrous or ridiculous, with an air of mystery, to invest it with a secret charm, and power of attraction which to the crowd is irresistible, (he did, after all, cut his rabbit-like TV teeth on WWE). False priests, false prophets, false doctrines, false patriots, false prodigies of every kind, veiling their proceedings in mystery, have always addressed themselves at an immense advantage to the popular credulity, and have been, perhaps, more indebted to that resource in gaining and keeping for a time the upper hand over Truth and Common Sense, than to any half-dozen items in the whole catalog of imposture."

As in the novel, history has proven itself to be a repetitive and darkly mirrored refractory of time. Instead of staidly progressing, it tends instead to wash, rinse, repeat. Sometimes first as tragedy, then as farce, once as the Twilight of American Idols, next as Howdy Doody Philosophizes with a Hammer. But in either case, characters, names, events, all return or are in danger of returning. An historical repetition where the present seems in danger of returning to the past to repeat the suffering and pain of another era as it arrests and distorts time itself, exchanging the sloganeering of No Popery Here, to No Muslims Allowed, as the willful ignorance of establishing and enabling a dynasty via the usurpation of the hegemonic nuclear-backed power of a Democratic Nation by a small coterie of oligarchs dedicated to bending the might of a majority that far outnumbers them to do its bidding, putting their wealth, their safety, their very country at risk to carry out their own nefarious agenda.

This was a danger that Alexis DeToquevile warned about as early as 1838 in Democracy in America, a scant three years before Barnaby Rudge was published in the periodical, Master Humphrey's Clock. Hearkening back to the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 that debarred Roman Catholics from the throne, the Gordon Riots repeat the schism and inflame hatred against a foreign religion, a theme that echoed from the crusades as the current ban echos the GW invocation of that same theme, freshly reinvigorated by its new standard bearer.

"What is more important in world history - a few stirred up German Nazis Moslems or the fall of communism? ... "

GW's father, (whose own father worked for the overthrow of communism in Europe by secretly funding the activities of the most rabid anti-communist on the continent: Adolf Hitler), the head of the CIA at the time the above quote was uttered, gave the answer to us all: better to have a coupla jets smashing their way into our cities than a thermo-nuclear attack. And now the Thump thinks he will ask the same question and receive a different answer; he won't, and neither will we.

The echoes resonate down through history, but no one is listening, they are too busy tweeting and texting, gaming and sexting  as the bombs fall on the hapless heads of Muslims throughout the Mideast, with the sanction, in fact instigation, of Jews and Muslims in the Middles East, with the US as their feckless patsy and Merchant of Death.

All while the underlying energy equation necessitates the pouring of ever more money, even more than the arms industries, a vast sea of dollars flowing to propel a black tsunami of petroleum into the meta-machine of a modern American infernal combustion engine, as it drives us to our own destruction, while we hypnotically stare into a sideshow mirror that distorts reality such that objects we see may appear larger than they are while dangers we don't loom dangerously out of our purposely-tunnel-visioned range.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Moral Hazard: Capital Crimes without Capital Punishment.

Rude Ulf, the Redneck Reindeer
Had a Very Shiny Blade;
So he used it on his Master, Santa,
'Cause he Never Ever even got PAID.

The definition of Moral Hazard from Wikipedia:

In economics, moral hazard occurs when one person takes more risks because someone else bears the cost of those risks. A moral hazard may occur where the actions of one party may change to the detriment of another after a financial transaction has taken place.

Moral hazard occurs under a type of information asymmetry where the risk-taking party to a transaction knows more about its intentions than the party paying the consequences of the risk. More broadly, moral hazard occurs when the party with more information about its actions or intentions has a tendency or incentive to behave inappropriately from the perspective of the party with less information.

Moral hazard also arises in a principal-agent problem, where one party, called an agent, acts on behalf of another party, called the principal. The agent usually has more information about his or her actions or intentions than the principal does, because the principal usually cannot completely monitor the agent. The agent may have an incentive to act inappropriately (from the viewpoint of the principal) if the interests of the agent and the principal are not aligned.

What many people don't realize, is that, prior to the 2008 Goldman Sach's sabotage of the economy for their own aggrandizement, moral hazard was something worried about and written about quite often in the financial press, not only in terms of banking, where the FDIC's very existence encourages it, but also in the burgeoning liabilities of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae and Sally Mae; the GSE's that blared it from the rooftops. 

Savvy investors could get an interest rate bump by buying up GSE (Government Sponsored Entities) bonds, collecting a premium over other bonds, with no additional risk, as they were guaranteed by the Government, ie, the US taxpayer, all the while making sure that they weren't one of them, yet, as evidenced by the ginormous US flag still scurrilously wrapped around NYSE's exterior, proclaiming themselves to be "Patriots", yet doing their utmost to pay as little to the government they so espoused to love (ie proclaiming to love something they then turn around and refuse to actually support ... not really  something you can entirely blame on them, as Americans are so moronic that that's all they have to do, and no one questions their "patriotism", on the contrary, they extol it). Exactly like a divorced father taking alimony from his wife and kids all the while saying how much he loves them).

The reason the term has totally disappeared from the lexicon is that the entire government and its parasitic private Hoovers, sucking all the cash and stuffing it as fast as they can into their deepstate pockets, is that, the explained by the sudden appearance of the term "Deep State" to begin with. 

Just as the OECD nations bask in the glory of their 'End of History" grandeur, bragging about how "Democracy" is the final Solution, they always keep hidden the fact that the way they are able to cater to the needs of their majorities, is by first subjugating and then extorting the natural resources from their satellites, a dynamic that the more obvious it becomes, the more it is ignored.

The Shah of Iran, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem, Saudi Arabia's "King" Saud, and Indonesia's Suharto, to name just the most famous, were all installed to deliver to the Democracies the riches of their country that rightly belonged to their countrymen. But, lacking the funds to develop them, the west was more than happy to  provide Aid, aid they would then use to siphon off all those resources to their more-deserving, enlightenment citizens who, for the most part, preferred to remain blissfully ignorant of how this rapacious strategy was actuated.

So there is a kind of poetic justice at work as the same stratagem is used against them. 

And that's where moral hazard comes in. You see, the reason it's never mentioned anymore, is that we like to pretend we are living in a capitalist economy, where such a term would still be relevant. But when the Fed just buys up "securities" at premium prices to shovel money into the hemorrhaging coffers of so-called "private" Banks, and hence into the Bonus checks of all those financial "Innovators", who dreamed up a Ponzi scheme so transparent even Ben Bernanke could see through it, and when the Fed creates, not billions but a mind-boggling TRillions of dollars and hands them over to well-connected insiders who are all but on the payroll (Except then they wouldn't make even close to the killings (an apt term they snidely embrace) their status as Pirates enables them to, it is not Capitalism at all, it's simply Piracy. It is Anti-Socialism, where the vast majority of the country labors for the few who hail themselves as the indispensables, because they're Oh so goddamned clever. They can take money handed to them --- your money, as you, the taxpayer, are "the principal" referred to in the definition above, and the scalawags on Wall St. are your agents, only their interest and your interests aren't even slightly aligned --- they are, contrarily, diametrically opposed to each other.

This descent into piracy more closely resembles the pre-capitalist economy of Queen Elizabeth. We must give credit where credit is due, (unlike the banks who just lavish it wherever they will), and give a tip of the hat to the dickwads who came up with the term "Quantitative Easing", a term that most definitely is NOT coincidentally the same as Queen Elizabeth's initials. Like "Death Star" and other financial wiseguy sneers, Frat-Boy sardonic supercilious humor is used as a direct slap in the face to those who know what these scofflaws are doing but are helpless to enlighten a public too ignorant of how the "capitalist" system they will fight to the death to maintain, even as they vote for people who are  paid to undermine it to the point they have destroyed it, the principal face for that being Ronald Reagan. The Queen Elizabeth of the 80's who let loose the Cowboy Capitalism that grew the government by creating enormous budget deficits that he then funneled to his cronies while his minions cheered him for his promises to do exactly the opposite: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." His followers cheer madly to these words to this day, always ignoring that the size of the government and its interference in their private lives, mushroomed under his reign and that of the criminal Bushes he was the poster boy for. 

The most obvious example being the Bush pere closing of domestic US military bases, where they brought economic benefits to Americans, and transferring them overseas, building them up to sizes never attained by their domestic version, and bringing enormous benefits to the economies of aliens and foreigners, all funded by the US taxpayers, and yet those economic benefits were lost, just when they were needed the most: when the demands put on the economy by hugely-expanded Federal Government outlays, mandated by the same Van Heusen Salsesman his followers still hail as a kind of Messiah, were increasing many-fold. Thus the enormous growth in Deficit spending by a Republican Government that Republicans to this day lay at the feet of the Democratic Party.

Likewise they ignore the doubling of the national debt under Bush from 2000-2008, while whining about Obama doubling it. But the result of Obama's doing so, in order to save the economy from the disastrous state Bush left it in, at least provided a modicum of growth in not only the economy but the employment numbers, which were crashing when the Bush-sabotaged economy limped out of his stewardship, sabotaged for no other reason than to ease the way for the haves to have more, an intent he bragged about and for which he started two wars to deliver. Yet all the Bush doubling of the debt brought was institutionalize chicanery, endemic financial piracy and a collapse of the Global Economy. 

A gay Mexican-American from San Francisco recently told me he voted for Donald Trump because "He wanted Change". From what? He's a realtor, a profession that does no more work than it did 20 years ago, but because of Washington's asset-value pumping, rakes in enormously inflated commissions on every  sales. Consequently, this individual owns property in San Francisco worth more than a million, property on the Russian River, cash to burn through, so he flips houses at an enormous profit, and yet he wants Change? Apparently having one's assets grow by a factor of 10 (that's right, San Francisco properties that were bought in the  eighties have increased in market value to 10x's what the purchase price was when Ronald Reagan took office) ... but that's just not enough ... MORE!MORE!MORE!

And somehow the belief is that The Donald is going to bequeath some bonanza to us. But as I hear the crowds in the Capital Mall cheer the Bush family during today's Inauguration, the country's pre-eminent Corporate-family of crooks and criminals, it all makes sense. The masses embrace their penury, there is, after all, always someone else they can blame for it, the goddamn pinko fairy faggots or raghead muslims or rapist Mexicans, and they now feel emboldened to grind them into the dust at the first opportunity, one they know the Donald will give them. Because it's always the most powerless in society that's to blame. Obviously. That's far easier than admitting it might be the over-arching Nationalism and Militarism that allows the US to bestride the globe threatening any who stand in its way with nuclear destruction, stealth disintegration of their infrastructure, drone-enabled assassination of their leaders, and depleted uranium poisoning of their soil and population. That is, after all, what makes America great.  


Monday, January 16, 2017

Are the Oblivious Right?

... We don't have to, we're The Phony Party.

As the press, the CIA and foe news outlets rain a golden shower of misinformation onto our peebrains, I'm reminded of a fact that I've believed in for some timer now, in this Brave New World of computerized everything. Namely, that, far from CCTV being allowed as evidence in a court of law, it should be banned. The reason I believe this is that, given the resources of the State and the inclination of prosecutors to trump up false evidence to convict someone whose guilt they have a vested interest in proving, there is no such thing as a video that can be absolutely proven to have not been tampered with.

I was employed by the computer industry for decades, and there is no better tool (despite the obvious clumsiness of Photoshop hacks) for fabricating evidence that looks damning than the computer.

Trump did go to Moscow. Trump did stay in a room in a hotel in Moscow. That that hotel had hidden CCTV in the room, everyone in Russia already knows. That the Kremlin then had that video doctored, they already know also.

But what Putin is also quite aware of, as, unlike America's, his memory is quite intact, is the way that the GOP turned the nation into a country of babbling baboons bloviating ad nauseum about blowjobs. It then used the power of the Congress to bring the Clinton Presidency to a standstill with nothing more than the (gasp) proof  positive, presented by an obvious slut who saved her cum-stained dress for the specific purpose of indicting her paramour, that the President had extra-marital sex. So Putin already knows that Americans can be easily sidetracked from their most vital national interests if you simply dangle something remotely titillating in front of their sex-addled noses. What poetic justice to do the same to the man who defeated Clinton's wife with a childish prank that uses sex to undermine his Presidency before it evens starts, in the same way that was used against her husband. In no other country could such a tempest in a teapot be stirred up with a scandal so contrived a twelve-year-old could see through it.

He therefore had his national security teams stitch together this absolutely ridiculous 'evidence' and let it trickle out that a dossier on Trump existed, which his security services then allowed to "leak" out, because he knew that, rather than let the buffoon take the orifice of office, a rabid octogenarian Neocon Russophobe like McCain, exhibiting all the telltale signs of an encroaching senility, could easily be duped into believing and releasing as (horrors!) the newest version of trickle down economics: Showers of gold to piston the USA's economic engine into the globe's SupraPower: the world's peenultimate uriNation.

Putin laughs at US intel – “I read all of your instructions!”, he's bragged. He has also scoffed at the adolescent level of US plays on the Chessboard, and, mixing metaphors, of their  penchant to show their already-obvious hand.

But what is apparent to the rest of the world, the USA's so-called Progressive party is blind to. In an hysterical editorial by that self-appointed, unconscionable "Conscience of a Liberal", Paul Krugman, he opined in a diatribe against Bush on April 25, 2005, entitled, "The Oblivious Right", that the GOP believed:

"The economy is in a sweet spot ... conservative pundits talk about a "Bush boom", this despite the fact that the economy is "only fair" or "poor" according to 2/3's of respondents to a Gallup poll. 59% of whom thought the economy was getting worse." He then asks if the administration's obliviousness to the public's economic anxiety is just partisanship. Naturally, he thinks not, it's just that everyone they talk to says so.

The reason? He explains that, "it's quite simple":

"Mr. Bush and his party talk only to their base - corporate interests - and are oblivious to everyone else's concerns, and corporate interests are doing very well ... The point is that people sense, correctly, that Mr.  Bush doesn't understand their concerns."

How could he?, surrounded as he is by:

"People who have made their careers in the self-referential (or should that be self-reverential?) corporate-sponsored world of" Washington.

He then wonders how,

"... these people ever ended up running the country in the first place."

Why? Because,

"Americans are feeling a sense of dread: they're worried about a weak job market, soaring health care costs, rising oil prices and a war that seems to have no end. And they're starting to notice that nobody in power is even trying to deal with these problems, because the people in charge are too busy catering to a base that has other priorities."

And there we have it, a series of quotes that The Krug uses to blast the GOP in 2005, each of which, word-for-word, can now easily be applied to the Democratic Party and its monumental failure. But rather than admit that they now exhibit every bit of the obliviousness of which they accused the GOP of displaying during the Bush presidency,  they have instead opted to cower behind this ridiculous strategy of dangerously inflaming Russophobic hatred and fear, not even original in its genesis, just rehashed Cold War strategy,  thinking it can camouflage their utter "catering (cratering may be more accurate) to a base that has other priorities", all the while referring to candidate Trump's followers as "Deplorables".

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Even the feckless Bush knew enough to call himself a "Compassionate Conservative", thus assuaging his opponents' anxiety of what he might do once in office. In other words, acknowledging their concerns. Not the Democrats, though. They just give a big finger to the opposition, because they are more arrogant even than Bush.

As Kunstler writes in his post this week,

"What does the Union stand for this time? The rights of former SEC employees to sell their services to CitiBank? The rights of competing pharma companies to jack the price of insulin up from $20 to $250 a vial? The rights of DIA subcontractors to sell Semtex plastic explosives to the “moderate” jihadis of the Middle East?"

Ignoring all of that, Mrs. Clinton saw it more to her advantage to just dismiss the fact that the US is one big Griftopia, and dismiss the concerns of poor Americans (Sorry, you're not my demographic) worried about illegal immigration, despite their having to support, for more than fifteen years now, a Department of Homeland Security that supposedly is paid to keep us, I don't know, is it being too presumptuous?, Secure, yet can't even keep poor, homeless Mexicans, from illegally crossing our borders in order to provide Corporations with an ever-flowing stream of cheap, easily dominated, illegal labor, yet somehow, we're supposed to believe they're able to provide Homeland Security against well-armed, well-funded jihadists? Showing that she not only thinks they're deplorable, but Stupid, too.

So the theme of the moment is that Donald Trump is a bigger crook than the servants and vassals of the Deep State. Who cares? What millions of Americans are feeling is exactly the same thing The Krug said they were more than 10 years ago:

" ... a sense of dread: they're worried about a weak job market" (that's nevertheless hailed as exhibiting strong employment and wage growth; growth so burgeoning the Fed has implemented their baby-step interest rate increases again ... just as they did at the end of the Bush Presidency that likewise was bragging about our "Resilient Economy"),

"soaring health care costs", (worse now, because the Democratic Party pretends they have solved the problem via Obamacare, which, although it may now cover the 20 million lost souls its advocates claim it does, has only served to INcrease the burden on those people actually paying for healthcare insurance),

"rising oil prices" (that have yet to reach a point where the enormously expensive product of the US oil industry can actually pay for the costs to get it out of the ground, processed, and to market without huge government subsidies),

"and a war that seems to have no end" (and that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama has informed us, will never end. We instead must constantly wage war to maintain the peace),

"And they're starting to notice that nobody in power (ie the Democratic establishment as epitomized by President Obama and Mrs. Clinton) is even trying to deal with these problems, because the people in charge are too busy catering to a base that has other priorities."

Damn. No wonder they have to cast about looking for someone else, creating villains out of doctored Intelligence in order to deflect attention from their total dismissal of the poorest part of the population that the ideals of their Party claim they care about. As Krugman's article so eloquently shows, they're even more blind than The Oblivious Right. So it should be no wonder that half the population feels that there's no choice Left.

Friday, January 13, 2017

"None of it was technically illegal".

Explains why Hillarity did not Ensue ...

As the shrill anti-Russian diatribes and irresponsible calls from one of the losers of the Presidential election for Revolution and Inaugural disruptions continue to escalate in their absurdity and intolerance for dissent, perhaps we should give more than just a cursory glance at the above-pictured history of, not only the financial crisis itself, but the lack of any of the "Change" or even "Hope" of "Change", other than spare, that candidate Obama promised yet President Obama renigged on.

Mr. Taibbi, for one thing, points out how the ACA, the program that bears his name and that the GOP is losing no time in attacking, proved the government's utter helplessness to police whole sectors of society. Far from fixing the health care industry, what it proved instead, he avers, is that this government couldn't even win back the right to regulate it, despite a massive mandate. It further cemented into place the new America, the one

"In which companies compete not by attracting customers with good service, but by using the power of the state to protect markets and force customers into the fold."

In other words, what I referred to in previous posts as Capitolism. Because it's not just the Health(we don't)care industry, all GSE's have the same effect by manipulating the market by having the government guarantee their profitability, making their companies too rigged to fail: the rich take the profits, the country takes the risks. 

Lockheed, Martin Marrietta, and Boeing are all GSE's. So is Halliburton, KBR, Exxon/ Mobil.....ok, ok, you get it, the entire free-for-all market system is a rigged game, and that's the whole reason it's flailing. Without the backing of the US government, US Corporations would collapse. That's what I mean by Capitolism, and that's what Taibbi defines. 

The difference being, that in 2009, when I wrote the above-referenced post, few would have agreed with me, whereas now, most of the deplorables, and even more of Bernie Sanders supporters, are aware that this is how America works. 

"Our real government is kept hidden from view, and the truly weighty decisions about where our society is going and what rules it is going to live by are made mostly in private, by groups of anonymous lawyers and bureaucrats and lobbyists, (bought) government officials and industry reps" (ie, by collusion).

The tell in his book, is when Matt names John Fuld, Cassano, John Mack, John Thain, and he could have named myriads more, but who got off, not just scot-free, but with the hard earned money of their victims stuffed into their pockets, thier bank accounts, and their offshore tax havens (yes, they didn't even see why they should have to pay taxes on them, after all, only little people pay taxes, the ones they left with nothing, to pay them with) and claims, "None of it was technically illegal".

In other words, fraud is not only okay, buy it is the business of America; it's not an unsavory side-effect of Cowboy Capitalism, but it is the very heart (and the celebrated heartlessness) of it.

From the epilogue of Taibbi's paperback edition:

"Bear Stearns hedge funds ended up losing $1.6 billion. This is what a Wall St. crime looks like: financial players lying to investors, with documentary evidence to prove it. Yet a jury found (them) not guilty ... ordinary people in a jury box could not bring themselves to see the Bear funds' collapse as a punishable crime". This though they were knowingly selling "essentially worthless counterfeit marketed as solid perfectly hedged investments - Drano sold as dope."

They literally stole our future and we couldn't believe they deserved jail time. And the reason? 

"It won't change anything."

And that's the point. That's what, in my not so humble opinion, is the reason the electorate of the red states rejected en-masse Hillary Clinton. In the land of Griftopia, who else is more appropriate to be head of State than the King of Grift himself, Donald Trump? If the meaning of Free enterprise means that the poor are left defenseless in the face of untrammeled greed to be trampled under the heels of a politically-connected minority of hucksters, then let's expose the middle classes, that have abandoned us to this fate and then turned on us and called us deplorables, to the same fraudsters and let them see what it's like. Let's see how much they like being spit on and told they deserve it when their lives blow up in their collective face.

I'm not saying I agree with this, nor that what happens next is all the fault of Liberals, but I am saying I understand where they're coming from and that it is surely not the fault of the Russians who are being so ridiculously scapegoated so as to gloss over the myriad failings of, not only the Clinton candidacy, but the Obama presidency, both of which had far more to do with their sense of entitlement and their Bush-like hubris than any machinations of the Russian government. Which, btw, at least didn't murder anyone, whereas the cyber attacks from the Stuxnet program that the US unleashed on Iran's nuclear scientists, did. You would think in a country that calls itself Christian, someone would know that you reap what you sow, and using cyber attacks to sabotage centrifuges, despite knowing it will kill those in proximity to the machines you're destroying, is evil. It may have a good reason, but, like civilian bombings, it is still evil, and

Such is the lesson that all school children learn, 
Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return.  

As far as the 3 or so million more votes that Mrs. Clingon (sic) received than Mr. Trump, that is now being harped upon so scurrilously, this objection, coming from the camp of someone who has been in politics, oh, I don't know all her life, is just plain whining. No one  better knows how the electoral college works than a woman whose been involved in at least a half dozen Presidential elections, and if her campaign opted to spend twice as much as her adversary spent, but allocated it in the wrong states at the wrong time, blaming it on The Donald smacks of so many sour grapes.

So good-bye President Obama. It is my belief, that despite having good reason for declaring all the crimes on Wall St and in the boardrooms of financial companies all over the country as "the Past", and saying that we had to "look forward", pretty much gives sanction to rampant criminality (as ALL crimes that are punished are for deeds committed in the past), I  understand that it was for what you believed to be the good of the country. And it worked. 

This century will see the Obama presidency as an island of tranquility sandwiched between two chaotic eras of GOP perfidy and rampant criminality. What alternative did you have? To bring those bankster outlaws to justice in the midst of a global depression while hundreds of thousand were losing their jobs every week with millions were being thrown out of their homes? I don't think so. As Newt Gingrich (blech) said, the first job of the American President is the safety of the American people, and unlike your predecessor, and most likely your successor, at that you succeeded, and perhaps that's all we can expect anymore, as sad as that may be.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Life in the Pee Tree Dish.

The Green Resolution

In Robert Bryce's book, "Power Hungry" (The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future), he debunks many of the fables regarding wind and Solar and biofuels and how they can and should replace fossil fuels, doing a rather good job of it. Hailing from Texas, the epicenter of American energy production (most of the investments in the fracking technology being utilized in the Marcellus shale, North Dakota and California were tested in Texas' Barnett shale and financed by Dick Cheney's Halliburton and other Texas moneyed corporations that knew new supplies of conventional oil in the USA had peaked decades ago and that it would only be a matter of time before they did so worldwide) however, means he has a decided bias toward fossil fuel and fracking, and therefore, its main 'byproduct', natural gas.

One thing that caught my interest was his assertion that natgas produces only half the CO2 of coal. This is quite misleading. And the other fact that suggests he's being less than forthcoming on other fossil fuel data amounts to a lie of omission, in that there is nary a mention of the one coal-fired plant per week that was brought on-line during the GW Bush, his fellow Texan's, stint in the White House.

Instead he blithely skips from London's 1952 killer smog, so well dramatized in "The Crown", (the entertaining period piece produced by Netflix), to Al Gore's 2008 call for activism. Which activism was spurred by the very fact he fails to mention: the construction of a coal-fired power plant every week in order to process the prodigious quantities of corn the boondoggle of ethanol required, adding more than 425 coal-fired plants to the more than 1000 already in existence, none of which, hence the protests, had carbon scrubbers or CCS (Carbon Capture and Sequestration: a rather dubious technology that's given rise to the term "Clean Coal").

Otherwise, though, the book is packed with well-researched data and brilliantly debunks the green image of most of the 21'st Century's ideas of where to go to get the fuel to power the continued explosion in human population growth and the concomitant destruction of all other forms of living creatures on the planet that humans find rather inconvenient.

His conclusion, though, is very close to that reached by the moderator of NOVA's, "The Nuclear Option", How will we power the planet (ahem ... Power the planet? The planet is in no need of being powered, it is US that "needs" it) without wrecking the climate? (ahem again ... it's a little late for that, don't you thinK? What you mean to say, but don't dare (can't be alarmist now, can we?), is, "Without wrecking the climate even further"). What that conclusion is, the one shared by Bryce, is that the only feasible way is by exercising what the name of the program suggests: The Nuclear Option.

But, just as Bryce vastly underestimates the CO2 output of switching from coal to natgas, the conclusion of the NOVA program, as it pictures those well-known nuclear power plants' steaming chimneys, is that nuclear is the superior choice because those fumes bellowing out of their smokestacks in such prodigious quantities is only water vapor. See? It is not CO2, and therefore, we need have no worries. What they conveniently decide not to tell their viewers, is that water vapor is itself a powerful greenhouse gas. So should we decide to build up the nuclear industry to even close to the capacity needed to provide the ever-growing population with an ever larger supply of electricity, we will steam the planet like a Chinese dumpling in the process.

What that means, if we recall my post from yesterday wherein I mention the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere of 405.7 ppm, is that, we are layering on top of that, which won't disappear, because the vegetation in the northern hemisphere that is currently the only means by which that carbon load is reduced every spring (but not ever again below the 400 ppm threshold, as we're about to see for the first time in the history of mankind this May) is that, like a down comforter on  your bed that keeps you comfortable on cold nights via the heat generated by your body, CO2 and water vapor does the same thing for our little orb in the cold night of space through which it zooms. But just like that down comforter, if you keep adding down to it, it will gradually become more and more uncomfortable, causing you to wish to throw it off. But what even the greenest of green energy production can't do, now that we've thickened the atmosphere under which we live, even without CO2 and water vapor being added to the already too large amount, is stop climate change, because instead of lying quietly under our comforter, we are having wild sex under it, and there's no way to either throw off the comforter or dissipate all that excess heat being thereby created.

Civilization is itself a heat engine, and Modern civilization, no matter how it is powered, is an exponentially higher heat generator than any that preceded it. So even if we add not a single feather to the comforter called the atmosphere, it is already so stuffed with down, that the excess heat we are generating, like the sexual activity under the down comforter, allows no escape for all that extra heat. Whether it's goose down (CO2) or duck down (Water Vapor), the effect is the same: Global Warming and the resultant climate change it must inevitably foster so as to arrive at and maintain a new stasis.

So as humanity continues to ignore the obvious problem of population overshoot, as though we have no more consciousness than mindless bacteria growing in a petri dish, one into which we keep injecting more and more energy, we are fostering the growth of the obnoxious culture therein, while continuing to allow paganism-disguised-as-religion to be used as an anvil to forge humanity into a primitive atavistic organism by pummeling into people's heads, while they are still helpless children, disastrously outdated precepts and antiquated notions developed by primeval homo sapiens eking out a hand-to-mouth existence, which leaves us no chance of ever arriving at any right answers because we keep asking all the wrong questions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Conspiracy of Psylens to Distort Reality.

The reality the perpetrators of the hoax that climate change is a hoax have in store for us.  

Robert Scribbler posted the current reading of CO2 today. On January 5'th, it was 405.74, accentuating the continued acceleration of  its atmospheric accumulation, something to be expected, since the growth of fossil fuel combustion has been climbing faster lately also, something also to be expected, since the price of oil, despite the concerted efforts of all the countries producing it for export, has been low.

This should be a matter, not of simply concern, but of alarm, as the Trump readies himself to ascend the golden throne while still pretending he believes that all the talk of climate change is a hoax. It is my belief that this situation can no longer be tolerated and that it is far beyond the point where the hoax that climate change is a hoax needs to be addressed, not in the newspapers, whose credibility is somewhat tenuous at the moment, but in the Congress and Courts of the United States.

When the President elect and certain members of Congress, some of whom are on powerful committees, conspire, together with their campaign contributors, to perpetrate a fraud of this proportion, action must be taken to show that the cui bono of the hoax they attest to doesn't exist (what climate scientist gains from saying that the climate is being altered by human actiivy? They only stand to lose, as they, more than anyone, know the direct link between modern life and fossil fuel combusition) whereas the cui bono, who benefits, from perpetrating the hoax that climate change is a hoax, is glaringly obvious and can be gleaned via a quick perusal of the climate change deniers' political contributors.

Many of the Corporations that are on those lists and therefore most responsible for perpetrating the hoax that Climate Change is a hoax are also the exact same companies that are lobbying for drilling rights in the Arctic. So what we have is a melting Arctic that is the bellweather proof of a changed (not a changing climate, but a changed) climate ... and no, Mr. Trump, that is NOT "weather", whether you like it or not. This is proof positive that we have nothing more than bought politicians, one of them preparing to sit in the Oval Office, paid up front to sign onto this hoax that climate change is a hoax, despite the fact that it never consisted of anything less than a conspiracy among energy Corporations that want to use the reality of a changed climate to get access to the most lucrative drilling spot for oil left on the globe, a spot they never would have had any hope of access to without climate change, paying politicians to pretend that that same phenomena that gives them that opportunity is not  reality, but a hoax, even as they simultaneously jockey for position to exploit that very same reality they deny.

In layman's parlance someone perpetrating such bald-faced fraud would be called what they are:


What could make their true motives more clear? They have conspired against the people of the US and the world to take over the seat of power of the only country in the world that can stop their depredations by using utter nonsense; nonsense their own actions reveal they themselves don't believe, and yet there is no Congressional effort to bring these Citizens, yes, remember, they're citizens, up on conspiracy charges.

It would have been nice had President Obama brought this up instead of merely saying, "to simply deny the problem" (of climate change). As if accusing scientists from all over the world of engaging in a mass conspiracy to pretend that climate change is happening, or even that it inevitably will happen, given the scale of CO2 being pumped at an accelerating basis into the atmosphere, is just caused by a misunderstanding,. But to suggest that, with sufficient evidence, non-believers can be convinced of the unenlightened nature of their thinking, is practically Jesuitical in its sophistry.

These forces are a juggernaut determined to steamroll over any objections to their plans for self-enrichment, and the fact that some future people will be forced to live on a burnt-out husk of a planet is simply not relevant to them. They are criminals, and need to be treated as such. But instead, because we know deep in our hearts that without the exploitation of the resources they develop, our modern mode of life cannot continue, we allow them to propagate such nonsense. There is a name for that. It's called cognitive dissonance. and until we face the truth we can't even begin to discuss how to keep the remaining vast stores of carbon that nature  has sequestered in the ground out of the air.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Share-ing Economy: Maiden Trump Tower.

We Cayman; made him cry Crocodile tears; said, "Later, alligator".

There is excitement in the Trumpelstiltskin penthouse. The nymphet with her spinning wheel has  spun the Scarecrow into Goldfinger. She is about to be married to his mature young apprentice, and she's to be married in the Trumpelstitltskin Suite of the Trumplestiltskin Tower, and the Trumpelstitlskins are giving the wedding breakfast, which, I'm assured, will be "A Cratered Affair"; in fact a flotilla of vans is even at this moment delivering loads of greenhouse plants so that the feast is crowned with celestial flowers that flow in a magnificent stream of garlands down the golden tresses of spun gold flowing from the bride-to-be's trousseau, an outpouring of splendid flax cascading in undulating waves of splendor so glorious they blind those who have the temerity to gaze upon them overmuch.

Naturally, the mature young lady is a lady of property, as is the gentleman. He invests in property. One of which is her. He casts about condescending golden stares, escalating the gossip about his primogeniture and Louis 16'th furniture. He goes into The City, hobnobs on Walla Walla Wall St., attends meetings of Directorates. He sits on boards, lays down planks, beats employees to a pulp, and otherwise reduces his competition to sawdust, mostly via his association with those in the know about Stocks. He himself knows nothing about them, but, as is well known to the wise of his generation, trafficking in Stocks is the one thing to have to do with in this world.

Have no antecedents, no established character, no cultivation, no manners? Have Stocks. Have Stocks enough to sit on boards of Misdirectors, oscillate on oh-so-serious business between London and Paris, and be great. Where does he come from? Stocks. Where is he going? Into Stocks. What are his tastes? Stocks. Has he any principles? Stocks. What gives him a voice in Congress? Stocks. Although he never of himself achieved success in anything, beyond ushering one company after the other into bankruptcy court, never originated anything, never produced anything, let it suffice to know he has Stocks. O mighty Stocks.

To manipulate those blaring instruments of finance up so high as to cause us smaller vermin, as though under the influence of crack cocaine or crystal meth, to cry out night and day, "Relieve us of our money, scatter it for us to the winds of chance, buy us and sell us, ruin us to enrich yourself, only, we beseech you, sit on the Peecock Throne among the other powers of the earth and fatten yourself, even to the state of repugnancy, on us.

And then spin spin spin those Stocks into gold, lest King Midas Muffle her, changing her golden fleets back to straw dogs nipping at her too-high heels. MedUSA, MedUSA, MedUSA, which turned his heart to stone, his skin to flint and drained power from  his tower.  As the crowds below yelled Rapunzel Rapunzel, her sister-wife let down her long hair and into the sanctuary, the mystery, the hallowed ground, climbed, unbidden, a riotous mass of faces, bent on creating a wild weekend with Bernie as they tumbled into the sanctum sanctorum, intent on breaking the chapel windows, juggling the sacred vessels and performing step-dances round the tabernacle.

Up, up, up they climbed, and in a flash it was crammed with men wielding clubs, sticks, torches, pistols; filled with deafening tumult, oaths, shouts, screams, hootings; changed suddenly into a beer-garden, a madhouse, an infernal temple: men darting in and out, by door and by window, smashing glass, raiding the bar, flinging the poolballs, breaking the cuesticks, tearing the green felt; drinking liquor out of China punchbowls that were then dashed to pieces on the marble floors, soon followed by the Swarovski crystal glasses; some were sitting astride the Villa Valencia settees puffing on atomizers stuffed with weed, as others were cutting down the curtains, and still more were hacking and hewing at an early 18th century Casket, veneered with tortoiseshell, gilt copper, pewter, and ebony, so as to break open its inviolable draws, stuffing their pockets with its contents without even glancing at what those might be, dividing his cash and precious stones among themselves right in front of his own eyes, wantonly wasting, pulling down and tearing up: nothing left untrashed, nothing private: men everywhere - above, below, overhead, in the bedrooms, in the kitchen, in the salon - carousing into the greenhouse where a horde of them were tearing through the caladiums, ripping up the Amorphophallus, jumbling up begonias and stomping on the rhizomorphs; all the while more men were pouring in - some  yelling some singing, some fighting, some breaking glass and crockery, some pouring out expensive liqueurs they couldn't drink, some ringing the bells till they pulled them from the walls, others beating them with pokers till they were pulverized to dust: more men still - more more more - swarming in like insects: noise, smoke, light, darkness, frolic, anger, laughter, groans, plunder, fear, and ruin whirled through the air like a raid of locusts on a defenseless crop, a Luftwaffe air raid strafing a terrified village.

At length the band began to reassemble outside the suite, and to call to those remaining within to  join them, so, as one phalanx streamed in through the window, the leaders of the mob streamed through the hallways and down the stairs, out the front doors and into the street, bent on spreading more mayhem until their irresistible onslaught bumped up against the immovable security forces, at which point they flowed like so many rats down ripped up sewers grates and popped manhole covers, through underground parking garages, streaming screaming into subway entrances leaving behind a flaming ruin and a pall of terror.

Thus have the forces unleashed by the mocking muppet stunned and castigated the great agitator as the rabble revel in a feverish orgy of anarchy, displaying the destruction and nihilism fostered within them that cried to be unleashed in a paroxysm of fire as the unexpressed rage he has bellowed to a white hot heat explodes in his face.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Get Smart: Creative is to Destruction what Control is to Caos.

"What's that, Mr Shoempeter?"

The newly-released report from the EIA has some interesting charts and data in it for those who care to heed them:

Liquid fuels demand and economic growth indicators: The outlook for global liquid fuels demand in the December STEO (that's for Short-Term Energy Outlook, they've given up trying to predict long-term, having gotten it so hopelessly wrong in the past) has been revised upward from the November STEO, with global oil demand now expected to grow by 1.4 and 1.6 million b/d in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The projection for real oil-weighted world GDP growth increases slightly from 2.2% in 2016 to 2.7% in 2017. 

That inextricable ink between economic growth and growth in oil combustion is simply ignored, because, growth, despite the ever-more-glaring fact that its benefits accrue to a smaller and smaller percentage (but a larger brute number, such that, because the population is growing so fast, a rate that China's recently abandoned one-child policy will only accelerate (because the Chinese population flooding into every country in the Western hemisphere that'll let them in simply isn't enough) because, if you add a million people a year, let's say, to the population, the 1% has just increased by 10,000) must be fostered, bellowed, manipulated via government intervention, in what is nevertheless still referred to as the free market.

This is how the Capitalist engine chugs and chugs, stoked by governments whose growth and whose promises are all based on the dynamics of growth-induced profitability that, because it no longer can pay its promised benefits to either stockholders, pensioners, or workers, leaving only those who can write their own paychecks, the Suits and Government employees, such as Paul Ryan, with the cash to further their lavish lifestyles. 

Trumplestiltskin knows this, as does Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. And what it's resulted in is the cognitive dissonance which we all have to live with today. Think of it this way, if a bank will extend a 7-year car loan to someone who is already paying more for their domicile than they can afford, to buy an asset that depreciates to half its value before it's even parked in their driveway, how long a term do you think a loan they extend to a major oil company such as Exxon, or even a minor one, such as Frontier, would be for? 10? 20? In any case, far enough into the future such that, even with vigorous mitigation efforts, which are, in any case, not being made, it paints the vivid picture that we will continue to use fossil fuel reserves until they are exhausted. What this means is that even should the US cut its emissions by 80% by the year 2050, it would only be because they have either already burned up all their reserves, or have, as is made evident in the above report, EXported them to countries that will, countries that don't have the luxury of intentionally destroying their own economies.

Now, if we were replacing fossil fuels with renewable fuels (not the same thing as renewable energy, which is a misnomer; if there were actually any such thing as renewable energy, we wouldn't need renewable fuel supplies), that could be good for the economy, but the data doesn't support this. What's occurring in the US is that these extra energy inputs are slowing down the growth in US combustion of fossil fuel (not its use, its growth, there's a world of difference, because what that means is that, as environmentalists and investors in alternate fuels point at the remarkable growth in alt-fuels' use, they never acknowledge that, as fast as these fuels are added to the mix, the growth in overall energy usage is growing even faster, such that the total combustion of fossil fuels grows apace):

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In this chart, you can see the direct correlation between energy consumption and the economy. In 2007, as the US economy continued sinking into a depression, the combustion of oil stumbled, something many people at the time were blaming on its skyrocketing price. But that skyrocketing price was actuated by insider traders who knew full well what the declining economic numbers meant for mortgage-backed securities and CDO's, and were merely reshuffling their funds out of the rigged housing market into the oil-rigged futures market, allocating their assets to make their next killing, while their friend at the Fed kept re-assuring the soon-to-be-raked-over-the-coals public that all was well.

As they then went global with their rich get richer "plays", as they like to call them, you can see the proof of what I disparaged Krugman for in a post of 2010, where he scolded McCain for "not taking enough action on climate change legislation" while he (The Krug) simultaneously called for a huge deficit-spending bill, pretending, like the rest of his "profession", that there is no connection between stimulating the economy and stimulating the combustion of fossil fuel reserves. But, as you can see from the above chart, what the stimulus of China's ginormous stimulus program translated into, (as did all those dollars flooding Emerging Market economies), was a grand ramp up in oil combustion. A ramp up that now Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, where there were gas riots this week, are all paying the price for as they invested all those borrowed funds in a future that is anything but sanguine (ie, it won't be able to generate the profits necessary to repay those loans).

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And lest you have any doubts as to where the oil glut came from the above chart should help you cast them aside. As Trump rails against China for unfair trade practices, of which they are guilty of many, the mirror must be awfully cloudy for him not to see that printing of dollars by the Fed to pour into the fracking industry, and then dumping this enormous bonanza of extra fuel onto the world market is manipulation of the worst sort, all while, (unlike China which acknowledges itself to be a Communist country), pretending to be the bastion of Free Market economics. China was a communistic country when we started trading with it, we knew it, they knew it, so to whine about it now is simply two-faced political posturing. But the US of A is supposedly a mere slave to the free market, so when it pulls this and then whines about China dumping a few textiles, it's just plain hypocrisy. No big crime, I know, but jeeez, cut the temper tantrum short, couldja?, it's freakin' embarrassing.

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So now, this last chart to show what is so worrisome to me about the tremendous gain in solar and wind-generated energy in the last decade, and the last years of a climate-change admitting president. 

See the irony? And therefore what we're more than likely heading into with another climate-change-denying President? If you glance at the first chart you can see that the climate-change denier left the world and his country with its combustion of fossil fuel in unprecedented decline, whereas we see that the president most committed to passing climate-change legislation is set to leave office with, despite an entire tenure characterized by anemic economic growth and robust usage of renewables growth, the world is burning up 10 million barrels of oil (and that's just oil, natural gas is off the charts and coal has only recently begun to plummet) a day more than when it took office, starting at 85 million bpd, and firing it up to the current 95 million bpd.   

But not so the US. The US percentage of the total, its usage having until only recently been fairly static, has declined, so although its usage is beginning to rise again, the world's consumption has risen even faster, so even as the consequences of such a conflagration begin to take a greater and greater toll on Americans' lives,  the reduction in their own footprint is neither acknowledged nor understood. How could it be?

And the population that bears the brunt of this change is that segment that the Hillary referred to as "deplorables". But instead of rioting, as the Mexicans, whose Democracy is shall we say, somewhat nascent, the deplorables tried to address their issues via the political process and hence there arose a Tea Party. A pseudo party whose issues, some of which were indeed ridiculous, were either ignored or ridiculed, so that the current president-elect had a population that, like the untouchables in India, no longer had a voice, and therefore, no longer cared who was in power. What did it matter to them? As Naipul describes the Untouchables in much the same way in one of his novels: Persian rulers, English invaders, what did they care? They didn't even know about, never mind care about, such changes, as they didn't alter their living conditions one whit.

That is what we are creating in the West now, a political stratum whose political aims are not radical, but reactionary, allowing our soon-to-be President to threaten to persecute a religious minority, stoking political violence and treatment that is essentially pathological, its motivations either trivial or capricious. Political activity now more like a strange kind of haunting, on the edge of insanity. So ingrained and all-encompassing that his erstwhile rival can aver that the US is "energy independent", and neither Trump nor any of the moderators during the Presidential debate in which she made this ludicrous statement, had neither the temerity nor the knowledge to challenge.

And thus we come to the cusp of Trump's reign, with a President that exuded bonhomie even as he sent drones off to assassinate his chosen targets inside the boundaries of sovereign states, an iron will in a fur-lined velvet glove, soon to be replaced by a Bush successor. But instead of using a commodity that the whole world needs, as the Bush family did, by manipulating via War and investment in fracking, to run the country for his own aggrandizement on the sly, this President comes to office with the electorate's full knowledge, and acceptance by half of them, that it is now to be run solely for HIS aggrandizement, making the term "Family Values", show its true face in a way that would make King Henry or Louis XIV proud. while ensconcing his family so deeply into the deep state that the Trumplestiltskins will, with the help of the DHS (Deportment of Homely Servility) to run the next election for him, enshrine themselves in. 

With the meteoric rise in the stock market, recently, ewe can be sure (albeit sheepishly) of one thing, its subsequent fall. The fact that it's risen so completely out of touch with reality ensures what I have feared all along from a Thump Presidency, not the Wall, or the Muslim registry, or deportations, all of which I believe to be media manipulations that worked so well, he couldn't really step back from them too much (Remember, "Lock 'er Up!"? ... and the crowd went wild ... but seriously, folks), which doesn't mean I'm not wrong, just that I don't really take them seriously. I don't believe he is an evil man. What I DO take seriously is his penchant for, and ability to foment, Chaos. Although I don't really make specific predictions, it seems highly likely that, like the Republican administration of GW, The Donald's biggest contribution to the world will more than likely be to plunge it into chaos. Such chaos that the Bush double disasters creating an Arc of INstability across the middle east and then a plunge into the abyss for the world economy, will look like dress rehearsals, reversing Marx's prediction: First as farce, then as tragedy. The Tea Party's revenge.